Just as I’ve done my first review of the recently released Nvidia’s GTX 1660, be sure to check that out, the model in question was the MSI GTX 1660 Gaming X, I got my hands onto two of its stronger brothers, the GTX 1660 Ti’s, both being from MSI, one from the Gaming X and another from the Armor series. Since I have them gathered here I’ve decided to stack them up against each other, as that’s probably going to be a common head-scratcher among users who are looking to buy a GTX 1660 Ti, is one worth that extra price from the other?

Of course, the first thing that pops right into your view is the cooler design difference, being it either the outer plastic shroud or the actual cooling portion itself. Armor has this more simple approach with the black and white color scheme, while the Gaming X has this updated black, gray and silverish looks. Both cards actually have a very similar total length and the length of their PCB’s, but the Gaming X one has a longer back-plate which overlaps the PCB, while it also brings different design and finishes. I would say that, at least to me, the Gaming X has a slightly advantage in this GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X vs Armor battle.

The cooler on the MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X model is a bit beefier, it seems like it’s sturdier, the whole card itself weigh around 200 grams more than the Armor model, which is no wonder since it carries have a larger heat-sink, with three heat-pipes running through it, while the Armor version has one less heat-pipe, a bit of a different fit and finish on the heat-sink itself and overall a bit less material used. Two 85 mm fans are present on each of the card, both being from MSI’s Torx series, but Gaming X model has the newer Torx 3.0, while the Armor got the 2.0 revision.

The reigning champion – MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X

But, despite all of that, the MSI GTX 1660 Ti Armor doesn’t trail behind by that much in terms of the temperatures, which is not that odd since they carry a very efficient GPU after all. For example, they both had very similar temperatures during gaming, around 64°C, with the slight difference being in fan speeds. Although the Armor model would ramp up the fan speed by about 600 RPM more than the Gaming X model in Furmark stress test, in games it wasn’t like that at all, not even close, it was basically the same, just a bit louder. Both also have the 0 RPM feature when the card is in idle, so here we have a level field in thsi MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X vs Armor comparison.

Both cards have an added 8-pin PCI-express power connector, while the difference in their power consumption is just mere watt or two as you can see it here, roughly around 200W for the whole system, which is really low considering the power output.

Another place where Armor gets to cut off its cost of manufacturing is in the fact that it doesn’t have any RGB lighting, so that’s a plus or even a double plus for users who don’t like it in the first place. For others, there the Gaming X version which has all the bling and now it even works and I’ve tried controlling it using MSI’s Mystic Light, and I didn’t manage to do that with the GTX 1660 version of it.

MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X vs Armor OC – which one performs better?

And now, probably the thing you’ll all been waiting, what kind of performance output do these cards deliver, especially among each other. The GTX 1660 Ti card itself carries a very capable GPU to being with, so when it comes to its overall performance, it’s more than good enough for high FPS gaming at 1080p or 1440p resolution, or let’s say light 4K gaming.

The Gaming X has the advantage of has a slightly higher Boost Clock, 1875 MHz on the Gaming X versus 1860 MHz on the MSI GTX 1660 Ti Armor OC model, while the base core clock is the same so I could say that I was a bit surprised by that as I was expecting a little bit of a larger gap. Although the Gaming X model under the OC profile has another clock configuration, which bumps up the core and boost clock by around 15 MHz, and memory for 30 MHz, I’ve decided to use its stock profile, as it came out of the box, to see if it can reach higher clocks and achieve better performance based solely on its beefier cooling configuration and thus more potent Boost Clock result. I would like to see those higher clock figures on the Gaming X model as its default profile, because this way you have load it manually through the Mystic Light software, which OK, it’s not a big problem by itself or to say it’s something complicated to do, but it is something that not every user will notice right away or at all, so I would rather see it implemented it from the get-go, as it’s usually done, cause this way, everything is basically the same compared to the Armor model clocks wise out of the box.

msi gtx 1660 ti armor oc review
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MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X vs GTX Armor OC – which one overclocks better?

But, as you can see it here, in the end, better cooling didn’t help at all much with delivering any noticeable performance gain over the Armor model in terms of getting that higher Boost Clocks, performance difference ends up being a frame or two at most, although the both roamed around 1965 MHz of core clock in games. Honestly, when you have a scenario like this one, where you’re doing graphics card comparison based off the same GPU, I wouldn’t be bothered with their difference in performance, even with that 15 MHz advantage, as it basically boils down to a measurement error difference, or maybe at best like shown here, one or two frames at most. I’m trying to put an emphasis on this, for you to not be if one has 10 or 20 MHz more on the GPU core clock or memory than the other, because you can always count on the fact that you can easily catch up and surpass that difference just by doing a bit of manual overclocking or even using MSI’s OC scanner feature, although to be fair, I still like to do it manually since I’m able to get more out of the card. Just by pulling a couple of sliders up in MSI’s Afterburner you can in a few seconds have that extra boost on your disposal, closing in on performance similar to the RTX 2060 Super series.

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Interestingly enough, both had almost identical overclocking potential. Memory was maxed in each of them, while the Armor allowed to be pushed more on the core clock before crashing on me during GPU benchmark process, but, that also, in the end, didn’t result in it actually having better boost clocks as the GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X model clocked anywhere from 2070 to 2100 MHz, probably due to more capable cooler or power delivery, while the Armor model was roaming anywhere from 2040 to 2070 MHz. Overall, the Gaming X did have a slight performance advantage over the Armor model, plus its fan speed was lower, although the GPU temperature was a bit higher compared to Armor model, lower 60°C versus mid 60°C, but that’s probably because of the difference in core voltage.

So, bottom line, when you draw the line, what to choose? I myself am a noise freak, so I would probably cash out that extra 10 to 20$ and go for the Gaming X model, but, on the other hand, since the performance and overclocking potential is basically the same, if you want to save money on a count if its lower price and you don’t need RGB, or you just like the way the Armor looks, you can go for it. Either way you choose, you want to make a wrong choice in this case, or alternatively, you can go for their Ventus model, which is even cheaper, but lacks for example 0 RPM idle fan mode and has an even less beefy cooler.

That’s it from me for this time, I hope this MSI GTX 1660 Ti Gaming X vs Armor OC comparison helped you in some way in which one to choose between them, if you have any question feel free to hit me in the comments section of my YouTube video listed above, you can contact me via my social media channels!

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